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U.S. companies added 230,000 jobs in October, the most in four months and a sign that businesses are still willing to hire despite signs of slowing growth overseas. Payroll processer ADP said Wednesday that the job gains were slightly ahead of the 225,000 added in September, which was revised up from an initial estimate of 213,000. Job gains above 200,000 are usually enough to lower the unemployment rate.
The figures indicate that the government's jobs report on Friday could show a healthy pace of hiring. The ADP numbers cover only private businesses and sometimes diverge from the government's more comprehensive report. Economists forecast that the government's report will show that all employers, including government agencies, also added 230,000 jobs in October, according to a survey by FactSet. Hiring has been strong this year, despite some hiccups in economic growth. Employers have added an average of 227,000 jobs a month in 2014, which puts this year on pace to be the strongest year for job creation since 1999.